When it comes to breaking barriers, Olivia is no stranger to the task.
The former First Lady of G-Unit has had unprecedented highs on the music front, accompanied by her fair share of lows—but now she’s back with a fierce new sound and a lot of new projects on the way.
After independently releasing two chart-topping hits “December” and “Walk Away” and completing the first three seasons Love & Hip-Hop: New York, Olivia took a hiatus from the industry to pen her first book aptly titled, Release Me, in addition to flexing her acting chops on both BET and more recently Netflix—starring in the film The Man in 3B.
Olivia kicked off 2020, setting the internet ablaze with her bikini pics announcing her return to the Love & Hip-Hop: New York franchise. Recently, the author and actress turned show producer took some time out to discuss with Hip-Hop Wired what fans can expect next musically, onscreen, and why she‘s so low key about giving back.
Hip-Hop Wired: You are making your official return to music with your new album, Pressure, what can fans expect with the new album because from what I heard from your latest singles, your new sound is FIRE?
Olivia: Awe thank you so much. I have so much different music and sounds in my head, that I wanted this album to be a reflection of that. As a black artist, we normally get boxed into R&B or Hip-Hop genre. I have always done all types of music and I want everyone to be able to enjoy what I bring to the table.
Speaking of your latest singles, you dropped two new singles, “One More Chance” and “Join Me”, both with two completely different sounds but blending perfectly, what is the inspiration behind your new direction?
O: Well for me, I make music that feels good. If I hear a track that I gravitate to, then that’s what I go with. It doesn’t matter the genre. Also, I am in a different space in my life and every song on this album will bring you along the journey with me.
Does the release of “One More Chance” mean you are going to bring Reggaeton back to the mainstream?
O: Hahaha I hope reggae music as a whole gets brought to the forefront. You will definitely hear a lot of reggae undertones on this album
You have accomplished a lot on the acting side of things, from TV show appearances to starring in Love & Hip-Hop New York, now you have a new movie coming out, The Man in 3B, tell us a little bit about the movie and what was it like preparing for the role?
O: I see you have been keeping up with me. Yes, the last movie I did was Man in 3B which was already in theaters and released on TV. But the new movie that we just shot is called Better Than My last. I’m excited about this movie. I’ve worked with this director before(Shawn Baker) so it was good to be back together on set. The movie is based on a true story. The main character played by Hassan Johnson gets involved with the Russian Mafia and credit card fraud. So we see him go through a suspenseful life with many twists and turns. Then he has a main chick and a side chick. I play the side chicks character. But he marries my character in real life.
While we are talking about acting, you also have your own show that you are developing coming out soon, what’s it about and how did the deal come about?
O: Yes, my show is called Liv Lavish. We are in pre-production. I could not be more proud of this project. It’s basically a modern version of The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
With everything going on right on the sociopolitical front, I have noticed an increase in philanthropy by celebrities, including yourself. You have a new foundation you spearheaded to give back to mama Africa, tell us a little bit about it and how your fans can help and get involved?
O: I have always been vocal behind the scenes and have had my foundation since 2018. It’s called “Esengo” which means joy in Congolese. We help build schools and hospitals and supply the equipment for each. I haven’t opened it to the public as this was my way of giving back.
With so much already on the agenda, what’s next for Olivia by 2021?
O: No one really knows what’s next. I just pray and go and believe that God will carry me through to the next chapter.